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A heirloom of the Hohenzollern family was its family ghost. The White Lady, while she was on this earth had murdered her two children to become the paramour of the Margarve of Brandenburg. She appeared when ever death was imminent. She was seen several times during the winter of 1796-97.

The Crown Prince's brother, Louis, was the first to be stricken with a sore throat. He survived less than a week and died on December 28. Then the Crown Prince himself became very ill with an infection. Propped up in a chair, he watched his brother's funeral procession from a window. He was still ill when the Dowager Queen Elizabeth-Christine, the widow of Frederick the Great, died. Throughout her husband's illness, Luise never left his room. She was again expecting a child, and her second son, William, was born on March 22, 1797. Luise nursed her husband and comforted him about the loss of his beloved brother. Her sister Frederica too needed her sympathy and support. A widow with three children and not yet twenty years of age.

While in Poland, the King became ill. His disease, diagnosed as "dropsy", had proved fatal to many Hohenzollerns. He died at the age of 53, four years after the marriage of his son, the Crown Prince and Luise. On November 16, 1797 Frederick William III was proclaimed King of Prussia. In anticipation of the event he said to Luise, "My time of trial is about to begin. Our peaceful happiness is over."


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